4 Reasons Why Pumpkin Spice Lattes Are Overrated

pumpkin spice latte

Fall is a time for sweaters, scarves, boots, coffee, and falling leaves. I could go on and on, but the one word that we never stop hearing is pumpkin. The pumpkin craze seems to take over fall before the season even starts, and—along with it—so does the excitement for the famous pumpkin spice latte, as seen on Instagram pages everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong: I admittedly love fall just as much as the next college girl who’s pulling out all her sweaters in September, but I’ve gotta say that I’ve never found myself running to the nearest cafe for this specialty drink.

Am I the odd one out for not being in love with this drink?

I tend to spend fall feeling bombarded by the obsession with pumpkin spice lattes. Am I—dare I say—a girl who doesn’t worship the PSL? I love baking up a batch of cinnamon and pumpkin muffins or spending Sunday afternoon at the pumpkin patch, but there’s something about pumpkin in my coffee that I’m just not into when it comes to fall festivities.

I’ll just say it now: I think the pumpkin spice latte is overrated. If you, too, have felt like the minority that’s not enjoying this drink under falling leaves, then you can probably relate to a few of these thoughts:

1. Pumpkin spice lattes are only available for a limited time.

These espresso shops are trying to make you crazy. The hype over the PSL builds as the weather gets crisp in September and you have to countdown until the day these luxury pumpkin beverages go on sale. However, with the last fallen leaf of the season, the pumpkin spice latte disappears. Good marketing tactic. This fake supply and demand mentality seems to only make us crave it more, but in reality shows just how average these drinks really are. If we all really loved pumpkin espresso drinks so much, wouldn’t we want them for more than just a season? I think customers are much more into the hype and excitement over the PSL, rather than the actual taste of the drink.

2. There are other delicious fall drinks that are sadly overshadowed.

Salted caramel mocha, anyone? Talk about always being the bridesmaid’s coffee and never the bride’s. Contrary to popular belief, the pumpkin spice latte is not the only autumn drink in existence. You might even consider a warm tea option, if you don’t like coffee but still want a satisfying fall drink.

Why have we been ignoring all these other lovely drinks? There are other very worthy options to spend our money on. Solutions for the fall-loving girl who isn’t on the PSL bandwagon.

3. Many pumpkin coffee drinks don’t contain any actual pumpkin.

I won’t begin to get into the creepy chemical ingredients that are included in pumpkin spice lattes, but at most coffee shops, “pumpkin” isn’t even on the list. AKA we’re buying 400 calories of lies. Don’t believe me? Check out this article. This must be the real reason why pumpkin spice lattes don’t taste great. What are we even drinking? We’re playing trick-or-treat and definitely being tricked. So, if the motivation to drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte is due to your undying love for all things pumpkin, a PSL is not the place to find that. If you really do love the pumpkin flavor, I’d suggest buying some real pumpkin and baking a loaf of bread, or—better yet—treating yourself to pumpkin pie.

4. These lattes are far from unique.

These days, EVERYONE drinks pumpkin spice lattes.

But is it still a fun seasonal treat when everyone (and I mean everyone) is utterly obsessed with it?

We’ve all heard the jokes surrounding the type of people who order pumpkin spice lattes, and that’s a category that no one wants to fall into. You can’t brag about the new fall coffee you had this morning, because the rest of the world has already had it. Drinking America’s most popular drink is making us just as boring as the actual taste of this beverage. Where is there ever a style factor in following the masses?

We can all definitely enjoy the fun fall season offerings, sans pumpkin spice latte.

PS: At the risk of full disclosure, I did drink a pumpkin spice latte while writing this article. For research purposes only, of course.

PPS: Oh, and for the sake of total and complete disclosure, the editor made her own DIY pumpkin spice latte while editing this article.

Photo by Jeremy Keith

Lauren Shanesy
I am a writing intern at Quirky Daily, but for now I still have my day job as a student. Writing is my passion, I'm a lover of pop culture phenomenons, and I am so excited about words that I buy books faster than I can read them. I eat chocolate every day and love coffee in the morning, afternoon, and night.